Trine Men’s Basketball Beats Alma to Advance in MIAA Tournament
By: Jeffrey Hoedt - Wednesday, March 3, 2021

ANGOLA, IN - The Trine University men's basketball team beat Alma (Mich.) College, 92-53, in a first-round game of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament at the MTI Center in Angola, Ind.

The Thunder shot 50.0 percent (31-of-62) from the field and got to the free-throw line 28 times and made 23 of those attempts (82.1 percent). Defensively, Trine forced 18 turnovers which led to 26 points.

Individually, sophomore Brent Cox led all players in scoring with 17 points on six-of-10 shooting (60.0 percent). Junior Nick Bowman was second with 16 points and also had a game-high five assists. Junior duo of Bryce Williams and Mitchell Geller both scored 15 points and junior Aiden Warzecha rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists. Additionally, freshman Emmanuel Mengnanglo grabbed a game and season-high 10 rebounds.

Trine (15-0) scored the first six points of the contest and later led 21-8 following a jumper by Geller at the 12:34 mark. Alma (2-12) then made a bit of a run with seven answered points to pull to within single digits, 21-15, with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half.

The Thunder answered with an ensuing 5-0 mini run of their own with four of those points scored by Geller, as the home team's lead increased to 11 points, 26-15, with 8:05 to go. Alma later got back to within six points (28-22) when another run by Trine, this time of seven straight points, put the Thunder back in control with a 13-point margin, 35-22, after a three-pointer by Cox.

Trine's lead remained in double figures the rest of the half and increased to as many as 17 points on a dunk by Bowman. The Scots scored a three-pointer before the end of the half to end the scoring by both teams, but Trine maintained a 14-point advantage at halftime, 43-29.

Alma came out of the locker room and scored eight consecutive points to get to within eight points, 45-37, early. After a pair of free-throws by Mengnanglo extended the lead to 10 points, Alma connected on a jumper to make it an eight-point game again, 47-39, with 16:34 left in regulation.

That was a close as Alma got the rest of the way as Trine outscored the Scots, 36-10, in the next 11:14 to pull away and take a 34-point lead thanks to a triple by junior Reese McGinsie that made the score, 83-49, at the 5:20 mark. Following a jumper by Alma on its next offensive possession, Trine went on a 7-0 run that ended in one-of-two free-throws by freshman Mitch Sauber and gave the Thunder their largest lead of the game of 39 points, 90-51.

Sauber later connected on two more free-throws to cap the scoring in the game and matched Trine's largest lead with a final score of 92-53.

Trine advances to take on Calvin University on Thursday, Mar. 4 at the MTI Center. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.